Q and A
June 6, 2010
Q: I got caught up watching some videos on youtube of Taz and Y2J's WWF debut. The pop they got from the crowd when they were finally unveiled was insane. It got me thinking that it's an element of wrestling you just don't see anymore and the videos really made me think back to that exciting element of the old days of WWF, ECW and WCW. The great buzz of seeing an ECW or WCW star on RAW (or vice verca). Do you miss that element as much as I do? Or do you just view from the inside - a guy getting a new job.
A: I miss it too, but that wasnít only reason their debutís received such a huge reaction. The industry as a whole was so much hotter than that everything got better reactions. Iím not sure how they can get that sense back though. TNA is so far off the radar and even if they do sign someone from TNA I have a funny feeling they would send them to FCW and change their name and gimmick anyway. I would have loved to have seen WWE use Danielsonís ROH past to help push him on NXT. I think ROH is far enough out of reach that acknowledging them would not have hurt WWE so they could have struck a deal with ROH to use footage of Bryan beating a lot of people during his run as ROH champ. Using the footage could have really helped get Danielson over and airing some ROH footage could have really helped them as well. Sort of like when WWE acknowledged ECW way back when.
Q: I watch some of the shoot interviews posted on youtube once in a while. Why does the interviewer always ask for "good road stories" and "good ribs"? And I mean ALWAYS!!!
A: Because people like to hear good road stories and ribs. I think they always want to offer an open invitation to talk about anything good they may not have covered during the interview with their questions.
Q: I just got done watching Guest Booker with Jim Cornette and he re-booked the entire WCW/ECW Invasion Angle and did an awesome job. (He even has you and Jericho in a match at Wrestlemania). I was wondering if you would ever be interested in doing Guest Booker DVD? I know I would love to see Guest Booker with Lance Storm - Re-booking TNA.
A: I was asked to do one once and turned it down. There is just too much work in doing something like that and in my opinion itís really just a waste of time and unrealistic. When you book there are so many unforeseen elements you have to deal with along the way and things to consider that just sitting down and saying ďoh hey Iíd do thisĒ really is just a fantasy. Further more if you just throw some ideas together that would be good without really sitting down and planning things out at length (again too much work) someone is just going to watch the thing and pick apart your ideas.
Q: So why do you think Edge and Christian aren't brothers anymore as seen recently on WWE television? Do you think wrestling's history of bad continuity has had much to do with them losing a lot of long time fans?
A: I donít think this one instance is the direct cause but yes, I think the general lack of care and consistency in booking is a big reason why fans have either given up or stopped caring. Guys turn face and heel at an alarming and unrealistic rate, titles are switched almost weekly, and angles and histories are ignored and contradicted all the time, so how or why would anyone care anymore.
Q: Technically, from your last Q&A, watching or downloading an unauthorized version of RAW or Smackdown is still pirating as it's still WWE property. With that said, what are your thoughts of people downloading episodes of wrestling (TV or PPV)?
A: TV I donít personally have a problem with because it is not something you would be paying for in its original format, but downloading PPVs I think is wrong. If you want to see the show, purchase it.
Q: I wanted to ask. You know more about the traveler's workout than anybody else. What kind of workout would you recommended for someone who's job is constantly on the road or in the air. I do 5 sets of 20 pushups every morning with sit-ups but with all my work, I have no time to look for a proper gym with weights. Any advice?
A: My advise is MAKE the time to find a proper gym with weights. The whole trick to hitting the gym regularly is making it a MUST not just something you will try to fit in.
Q: What is the difference between a replica belt you can buy online and a real world title belt held by someone in WWE? Is there some kind of feature on it that distinguishes between the two?
A: Any replicas Iíve seen are thinner and not as good quality. I would imagine though that if you were willing to pay enough you could get exact replicas.
Q: What do you think about the WWE pairing off two guys to be a tag team and basically within a year they are feuding, same thing with factions like Legacy and Evolution. It's a bunch of guys put together and then for no reason they hate each other and are fighting now. Is this just lazy booking or should it just be accepted as the standard?
A: Itís a bit of both itís to an extent lazy booking but unfortunately thatís also standard now. Part of the problem is that with 2 weekly 2 hours show, and monthly PPVs, that programs progress at such a rapid rate that stuff just seems to be thrown together and blow off in no time at all. In the old days programs could be done the same but would take a couple years to run through rather than the 2 or 3 months it takes now.
Q: What do you think about Taz as a commentator? I don't think he adds anything unique. You would think he would give us some insight or description on submissions or some of the wrestling moves, but he seems just ogle the knockouts the same way Lawler ogles the divas.
A: I donít watch TNA so I really canít comment. Iíve always thought Taz was good behind the desk, but perhaps after watching the product each week his brain has frozen up.
Q: I heard TNA is supposed to be making roster cuts and I know this won't happen, but what if they just released all the former WWE and WCW names? They would save millions of dollars and it's not like they have made a difference in the ratings or buy rates. Nash squashed the X division. Sting has spent most of his time feuding with Jarrett, Samoa Joe lost to Kurt Angle three times before winning once. And Scott Hall barely wrestles.
A: The problem is that most of those guys could have contracts that prevent them from being released. I agree with you though I think TNA could fire many of the people you mentioned and ratings and buy rates would not go down. Hell ratings have dropped since many of them were hired. Talent has never been the problem in TNA yet the keep hiring new people looking for the magic solution. If they would just find someone who could book a sensible show Iíd be so happy watching AJ, Joe, Bear Money, MCMG, Doug Williams, you know the guys who have been there all along or joined the company at no doubt a very reasonable price.
Q: I recently read an article about Vader's son training to become a pro wrestler & it brought up this question: if one of your friends' or colleagues' children were trying to break into the business, would you reach out & offer to train them, or would they have to come to you? I get the sense that you don't make exceptions in whom you decide to train.
A: If it was someone I knew very well I would offer, but generally Iíd like to think if that were the case they would ask.
Q: Did you get a chance to see Edge and Christian's match on the 5/17 edition of Raw. I thought it told a good story because of their history and put on a great match. You should check it out if you didn't get a chance to.
A: I did see it and thought it was great, and texted both of them to tell them so.
Q: I had no idea you went to university at Wilfred Laurier. Ever partake in any octoberfesting?
A: I did not no; I donít drink at all now nor did I then.
Q: Any other favorite memories of Chicago, other than those pancakes? It's been said that next to MSG in New York, the Allstate Arena and the Chicago crowds are the best.
A: For crowd reaction I might put Chicago ahead of New York. In my books they might be the best wrestling City there is. I remember the great Rock Ė Hogan segment that was done there prior to WrestleMania 18. I had finished my stuff on the show and was actually sitting up in the upper deck in a closed off section of the audience for it and the emotion from the crowd was unbelievable. I got goose bumps just sitting there watching it.
Q: How does someone become a referee? I am not asking for personal reasons, I have no interest in becoming a referee, but I am curious as to how one becomes a referee. How do these guys break into the business? Are you able to give us any examples of how specific referees broke into the business?
A: I would think most referees started just as a friend of one of the boys or as a small aspiring worker that got throw in as a ref when the regular ref didnít show up. Most Indy groups have small budgets so refs are often just volunteers starting out.
Q: Hey. I just read your article "Rather Annoyed" and it has me wondering. What are some of the main reasons that wrestlers have issue with doing jobs. And let me be clear, I'm not criticizing your position in that particular instance you mentioned in the article, I'm just curious. I mean I can see "Stone Cold" Steve Austin not wanting to loose to Barry Horowitz on pay per view or something like that, but I remember reading you say that it doesnít always make sense to book big names for Indy shows because they often wonít job to Indy wrestlers. I'm just thinking if I'm Brutus the Barber Beefcake, and I'm as established as I'm ever going to be, what difference does it make whether I win or loose in 2010 in a match that is essentially insignificant. More specifically, (and, again, not to criticize) why did you not want to go 0-2 on that specific tour in which you mentioned?
A: I think there is a point that if all you do is lose you diminish your value. If a group is bringing you in because you are a star they need to present you as such. This is where my issue came in with the 1PW situation. In my mind being in for a double shot losing in every match hurts your credibility and is bad booking. In my opinion if they wanted to help get Doug over they should have brought me in and put me over strong the first night to remind everyone that I am a star and really good. Then when Doug beats me the second night he has accomplished something. Instead I was booked to lose a completely meaningless tag match the first night and then lose again the second. To me that was bad business and to be honest, disrespectful.
Q: I have a question about house shows when it came to the big two companies, WCW and WWF, at the time. As a performer, is the financial benefit of doing a house show that much significant to have to take that extra day to do a house show? I used to live in San Francisco and typically when WWF would come into town, I remember that they would hold a house show at the Cow Palace and then some sort of televised show at the Oakland Colosseum days apart. I understand trying to get as much money from a market as you can during your time there but when it came to the WWF and WCW, people knew that nothing "significant" was going to happen and these shows essentially didn't exist when it came to the cannon of whatever was going on with the story lines of each company. At that time, though the shows were packed and considering that the set ups were just the ring, some lighting and the sound systems, it seemed like they were making a lot of money. I'm probably answering my own question, but I did have a blast at those shows, even though Kane's pyro sucked and I did buy merch at the shows too, but overall, would you rather work that extra day and get the payday or get an extra day off and just have to come into town for the televised shows?
A: To me it wasnít just the pay day I much preferred working house show and would have gone insane only working TV. To me wrestling is about crowd involvement and house shows are when you are given the freedom and the time to do a proper match and get the crowd involved and properly reacting to what you do. TV matches I always hated because you only had 3 -6 minutes so you often had to sacrifice crowd involvement in order to hit your time. Live house show type events are the best place to see actual wrestling and where you get to interact with the performers. No pyro is a small price to pay to experience the energy and interactiveness of a live non-televised event. As an example Iíve always heard TNA house shows are AWESOME, while their TV product is unwatchable.